Pollo Guisado aka Stew Chicken

There are many ways to make this Caribbean food favorite. I make this dish a few times a month because I’ll never tire of rice, beans, and gravy… lots and lots of gravy which is the main highlight of the dish! … Oh and the chicken.


Here what you’ll need:

  • Mixed pack of chicken thighs drumsticks (you can add breasts too just make sure you cut them thick)
  • 1 ½ red onions
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • ½ red bell pepper (or orange or yellow or all… makes the dish colorful)
  • ½ a head of garlic
  • Tomato paste
  • Red wine vinegar or regular white vinegar
  • Adobo or seasoning salt … if you’re making for a lot of people I add a bit of low sodium soy sauce or even ¼ to ½ of a bouillon cube
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Cumin (Note: This is a BOLD seasoning. A little goes a long way)
  • Oregano
  • Cilantro
  • Sazon Goya or Paprika
  • 2 Limes (or lime juice if you don’t have fresh limes)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • *Bonus:  substitute 1 lime for 1 Bitter orange (optional)
  • Small pitted olives (optional)


  1. Clean the chicken by trimming fat then place in a mixing bowl. Now squeeze the juice of a lime and add a ¼ of a cup of white vinegar. Rinse under cold water and drain.
  2. Dice ½ a red onion, ¼ of a green bell pepper, and ¼ of red pepper.
  3. Mash ½ head of garlic with salt in mortar and pestle. If you don’t have one just dice them small
  4. Add onions, garlic, and peppers to chicken
  5. Squeeze the juice of a lime or bitter orange. Whichever you are using
  6. Add adobo/seasoning salt/soy sauce … whichever you chose to use. (Note: since where using dark meat and using tomato paste later on, you can adjust the salt content of your dish as you cook. If you add too much now, you can balance it out later and vice versa)
  7. Add 1 tsp. of oregano, 1 tsp. of cumin
  8. Add 1 packet of Sazon Goya or 1 tsp. of Paprika
  9. Add 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  10. Mix your chicken and make sure they are all evenly coated/seasoning… get in and use your hands if you have to. It’s nothing soap and water can’t wash!


  1. If you have time, set aside in the refrigerator for a few hours. If not, just go ahead and begin cooking.
  2. In a deep pan or pot heat oil… like really heat it but don’t burn the house down!
  3. Using tongs, place chicken in pan browning it on each side.


  1. Once it’s nicely browned, add water to your left over marinade and add to pot. The water should cover half the chicken and simmer. Cook on medium flame.


  1. Now cut your remaining onions and peppers into thick pieces and place in a bowl with 1 tbsp. of red wine vinegar


  1. Continue adding water to the chicken when the water dries out (don’t let it dry out completely).  You’ll keep doing this until the chicken is cooked (the juices that flow from the chicken bones will be clear and not red)
  2. Once the chicken is cooked, add a spoonful of tomato paste to thicken your sauce. Feel free to taste your chicken/gravy and use this time to adjust any flavors.
  3. Continue to cook chicken and thicken sauce. Once it’s thickened, add onions and peppers that have been pickling on the side.
  4. Turn off the stove and let the stew chicken rest. You want to give the onions and peppers to soften a bit from the steam (You don’t want them too soft.  You’ll appreciate the slight crunch later on)


Now serve over rice and beans. Enjoy!

Note: Depending on my mood/taste buds, I’ll add hot peppers and all spice.


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